Rivenbark: Why the obsession with all things slutty?

I first realized that Halloween isn’t what it used to be when I overheard an earnest discussion between two young women at the costume store on whether it was better to be “slutty angel” or “slutty monarch butterfly.”

While I had to pause for just a second to admire the specificity of the butterfly costume – apparently the swallowtail is kind of a prude so don’t even GO there – doesn’t it seem a bit odd that everything has to be slutty?

I’m the slutty canary in the coalmine warning you that when you shop for your Halloween costume this year, be prepared for a lot of slutty (fill in the blank) including “Slutty Panda Bear.” It is a short black and white furry costume with fishnets and a black and white mask. It’s not slutty so much as weird. Paired with a bamboo “whip,” there is a whole “Fifty Shades of Grey” vibe to it that is a bit unsettling.

What next? Slutty reverse mortgage specialist? It’s all a bit silly, isn’t it?

Walmart got blasted recently for stocking a “Naughty Leopard” costume for toddlers. Yes. Toddlers. Everybody whined loud about it and Walmart took it off the shelves. Don’t worry. They left the guns and ammo. This is America after all. I saw the Naughty Leopard toddler costume, a short frothy little purple and black thing, and I have to say it wasn’t that bad. I agree with some who said that it was a language problem with the labeling because the costume came from China, which was going for “naughty-playful” not “naughty in the eyes of the perv who can’t be closer than 50 feet to a playground.”

I totally get that. Language is everything, right slutty Walt Whitman?

For instance, I bought a Snuggie a few years ago and had to laugh at what was written on the box: “Snuggie Make Hot the American Woman.”


Maybe we can blame the craze for all things slutty on, wait for it, “How I Met Your Mother,” and its famous “Slutty Pumpkin” costume. But probably not. After all, I’ve heard several teens lately admit to craving “slutty brownies.” I had one when offered and while it didn’t remind me of a prostitute, it was definitely over the top, ramped up with obscene amounts of chocolate chips and gooey caramel. So “slutty” now means over the top, not necessarily promiscuous.

While things are definitely sluttier at the costume store this year, it’s not a new concept. I still remember many years ago asking the Princess’ babysitter, who was all of 15 at the time, what she was going to be for Halloween. I was expecting “witch” or “ghost” but she didn’t even pause: “I’m going as a slut.”

I didn’t exactly know what to say to that so I think I just said something like: “You’re fired.”

I guess I’m more of a swallowtail than a monarch when it comes to stuff like that.